The curious case of celebrity intellectuals
Imagine a nuclear physicist is working on solving a problem related to isotopic activity or atom’s transmutation and a movie star walks in and starts giving his/her opinion in this field. I realize it sounds ludicrous but it seems that the truth of our society is not far from it. A well-known celebrity recommending the public to use a particular toothpaste to improve teeth health is something that we have seen in so many television commercials. While I may admire the movie star’s acting prowess in a feature film but I don’t want his medical opinion thank you very much.
We live in a world where celebrities seem to have an unfettered right and moral authority to educate the masses on any and all aspects of politics, geopolitics, national security, military strategy, religion, social justice, feminism, foreign policy etc. In any of the aforementioned fields, scholars spend decades on researching the subject matters before becoming an expert. However, the same rules do not seem to apply on celebrities. It is pertinent to mention here that I am not advocating against the right of any individual to express his/her opinion. I am merely pointing out the credibility of certain individuals to speak on such critical issues and section of our media in hailing them as social justice warriors or scholars.
The question we need to ask ourselves is whether the celebrities speaking on any such issue concerning the nation are:
(a) expressing their opinion with an objective and fair assessment of the issue; or
(b) out of ideological reason; or
(c) for personal/financial benefit.
If celebrities are questioned on their knowledge or intelligence regarding the subject matter they instantly take offence. In December 2015, a celebrity businessman in United States of America proposed an extremely controversial travel and immigration plan for the country as part of his campaign for the Presidential race. Almost every well-known celebrity in USA went after this man and ridiculed his knowledge and intelligence in this matter and in general as well. This man is now POTUS. It is my belief that one of the factors that led to this was the incessant and shameless rants of celebrities against this individual. There clearly seems to be a huge disconnect between mass media and mass reality.
Now let us discuss about India. In India the celebrity intellectuals are multiplying faster than rabbits. This population explosion of celebrity intellectuals seems to be a direct result of the rise of a man currently serving as the Prime Minister of India. It is incredible to witness how the celebrity intellectuals have now become experts on military strategy and foreign policy. They are blaming average Indians of war mongering and lack of intelligence who also by the way happens to be the target audience for their films and television commercials.
Celebrity intellectuals fail to realize that an average Indian is seeking retribution against the cowardly acts committed by Pakistan (since last many decades) and protection of India and her borders. They also fail to realize that Indians are not urging for war. We realize that we already are in a war and hence imploring our leadership to treat it like one and respond accordingly. The blind hatred of celebrity intellectuals towards Narendra Modi has led them to inadvertently speak and act against the interests of India (as was rightly pointed out by the Prime Minister on March 2, 2019 during India Today Conclave).
It is imperative that the common citizens of India should avoid watching or listening to celebrity intellectuals and their opinions unless it is a professional advice coming from them. There is no correlation between fame and knowledge. We should admire and respect our celebrities for their artistic abilities but we shouldn’t pay too much attention to them vis-à-vis issues concerning national security. We have several professional organizations for this purpose. Let us not get swayed by the Celebriteinsteins!